It’s a real-time grabbing of ship parts, old pipes, batteries, and other crap in order to make a ship that will go out on a mission to find goods and deliver them somewhere.
The tabletop game has a bunch of tiles face-down on the table and everybody grabs stuff willy-nilly to try and make the best ship as possible. You’re taking tiles, looking at them, trying to decide whether or not it will fit in your ship, and then either putting it back, putting it “on hold” for later, or putting it on your ship. As soon as you look at another tile, the piece you put on your ship or in your storage is locked. You can’t get rid of it.
The real-time element is why I’ve never been a fan of it.
Yet back in 2014, Czech Games Edition came out with the app on mobile and it was a phenomenon.
First, they came up with an “action point” system to take the real-time element out of the game if you want asynchronous play. Players will get a certain number of action points to look at tiles, place tiles, or maybe even look at part of the deck of events that will happen on your journey. You can save up to 3 AP for your next turn if you wish.
After all ships are built, you go out on your mission and turn over one card at a time. You may get open space where your engine strength will determine how far you go, or maybe a meteor storm. Or maybe planets with goods that you can take to your final destination. And so much more.
This makes asynchronous play a dream, and takes it from something that I will avoid (I hate real-time games) to a game that I would love to play.
In addition, it has a massive single-player campaign that I haven’t even come close to completing.
This gives the app a lot of replay value, and it has all of the polish of the typical CGE app (Through the Ages is amazing!).
Also, if you made campaign progress on your iPad, you can now cloud sync the game so you don’t have to start over on your PC/Mac.
To finally have this app on Steam is amazing. It looks great, not like a mobile port to Steam.
You can see all of the love put into it.
You know what’s even better?
It’s only $6.19 US ($7.49 CDN) on Steam for a limited time. It’s a one-week sale before it goes up to normal price ($10 US, which is still a bargain).
It even includes the Alien Technologies expansion!
Give this app a try, even if you hated the game on the table. The addition of action points to make the game playable with your friends is simply wonderful.
It’s also worth it on mobile if you’re so inclined.